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Cannabidiol Use to Reduce Cravings in Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder on Buprenorphine (CURB)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04192370
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 10, 2019
Results First Posted : May 18, 2023
Last Update Posted : May 18, 2023
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Joji Suzuki, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this week-long study is to determine the impact of cannabidiol on cue-induced cravings among individuals with opioid use disorder who are stable on sublingual buprenorphine treatment.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Opioid-use Disorder Drug: Cannabidiol 600mg Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Studies have indicated that medication treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) with buprenorphine, methadone, or extended-release naltrexone reduces the risk for overdose by 70%. However, treatment dropout rates remain unacceptably high, with approximately 50% of patients discontinuing treatment 6 months after initiation. There is a substantial body of research indicating that high rates of treatment discontinuation are due to the emergence of intense cravings to use illicit opioids in response to cues - which are reminders of the drug such as drug paraphernalia. Much of the research so far in improving treatment retention on medications for OUD have focused on helping patients learn how to avoid triggers and to manage their cravings if they do emerge, and psychosocial treatments as adjuncts to medications has similarly not been as helpful as hoped. As such, there is a critical need to identify novel strategies that will improve retention in medical treatment for OUD, and cannabidiol (CBD) has emerged as a possible adjunct to OUD treatment, as it appears to target brain regions that mediate cue-induced cravings. Two studies so far have shown that CBD reduces cue-induced cravings for abstinent individuals with OUD not taking any medications, but the impact of CBD on cue-induced cravings among individuals stabilized on buprenorphine is not known.

Given that long-term medication treatment remains the gold-standard approach, a critical question that remains unanswered is whether CBD can be used as an adjunct to buprenorphine treatment to reduce cue-induced cravings. As such, the purpose of this week-long open-label feasibility pilot is to determine the impact of cannabidiol on cue-induced cravings among individuals with opioid use disorder who are stable on sublingual buprenorphine treatment. Patients with OUD currently receiving treatment with sublingual buprenorphine will be eligible to enroll. The cue-induced cravings assessment will be conducted before and after the CBD administration.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 8 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Single-arm, Open-label Feasibility Pilot of Cannabidiol as an Adjunct to Sublingual Buprenorphine on Cue-induced Cravings Among Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder
Actual Study Start Date : August 3, 2020
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 30, 2021
Actual Study Completion Date : December 30, 2021

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Anxiety
Drug Information available for: Cannabidiol

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Cannabidiol
As this is a single-arm, open-label study, all subjects will receive the interventional arm, specifically 600mg of oral cannabidiol once daily for 3 consecutive days.
Drug: Cannabidiol 600mg
All subjects will receive 600mg of oral cannabidiol for 3 days in an open-label fashion. Cannabidiol will be provided using Epidiolex™ oral solution 100mg/mL, and the drug will be procured by the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) Investigational Drug Services (IDS) pharmacy. The first dose will be administered at the BWH Center for Clinical Investigation, while doses 2 and 3 will be self-administrated at home. The CBD will be repacked in pre-drawn syringes for the subjects to self-administer at home.
Other Names:
  • CBD
  • Epidiolex

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Cue-induced Cravings and Anxiety After 3 Days of Cannabidiol Administration [ Time Frame: pre-exposure (Visit 2, which is day 2 of the 5-day study) and post-exposure (Visit 3, which is day 5 of the 5-day study) ]
    Change in cue-induced cravings and anxiety measured before and after 3 days of cannabidiol administration. Subjects will use the Cue-Induced Opioid Craving and Anxiety Scales to note their responses using a visual analog scale of 0 to 10, 0 being "not at all" and 10 being "extremely." Higher scores thus mean a "worse" outcome (i.e. more intense cravings/anxiety).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) opioid use disorder, severe
  • Currently in treatment with methadone or buprenorphine

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Requiring level of care higher than outpatient treatment for alcohol, sedative/hypnotics, or stimulants
  • Any current mood episode requiring level of care higher than outpatient treatment
  • History of psychotic disorder or bipolar disorder
  • Currently pregnant
  • Hepatic liver enzymes greater than 3x upper normal limit
  • Hypersensitivity to cannabinoids or sesame oil (cannabidiol solution comes in sesame oil emulsion)
  • Currently taking any medications with known significant pharmacokinetic interactions with CBD

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04192370

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United States, Massachusetts
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02115
Sponsors and Collaborators
Brigham and Women's Hospital
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Principal Investigator: Joji Suzuki, M.D. Brigham and Women's Hospital
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by Joji Suzuki, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Joji Suzuki, MD, Director, Division of Addiction Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04192370    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2019P003384
First Posted: December 10, 2019    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: May 18, 2023
Last Update Posted: May 18, 2023
Last Verified: April 2023
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Opioid-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Narcotic-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders